My teenage Drama Queen’s first semester of high school was officially over Thursday and the students had a day off on Friday. With that in mind, I arranged to meet my friend Steve at his son’s apartment a block from the beach in Seal Beach for a bike ride.
As I read what I just wrote I realize that sounds vaguely homosexual and I want to assure you he’s not that kind of friend. I have gay friends. Steve’s not one of them. As usual, I digress. Allow me to begin again.
Friday morning my daughter and I loaded our beach cruisers onto the back of my car and headed to Seal Beach to meet my friend Steve and ride around the beach. To be clear, I did all the loading. She just stood there.
It takes 10 minutes to get from home to downtown Seal and as soon as I started the car DQ began yammering. “Did you know on Monday we start reading the Odyssey in English?” She asked. “Uh,” I replied. “Yeah. Who told you that you were starting it and who suggested you get a copy for your Kindle so you can begin reading?” She had no answer to the question which was odd considering we had the Odyssey conversation less than 18 hours prior.
After reminding her it was I who suggested she get the book, my daughter began to ask detailed questions about Homer and his Odyssey. I explained that I hadn’t read the book in years but My Muse loves the book so she should point any questions that direction. She then started asking questions about Greek gods and I once again explained that she should discuss this with My Muse because the only thing that I know about Greek gods is that Aphrodite is supposed to be the hot one.
I’m pretty sure you can see where this is heading, right? For the next seven minutes I swear to God she asked me thirty different questions about the book and the gods and I only had two responses for her. It was either, “I don’t remember anything about Greek gods. Ask My Muse.” Or, “I don’t remember the book. Ask My Muse,” Actually, the last Greek god one started with, “Seriously?” And the last book one began, “Holy crap!
We were three blocks from our destination when she finally stopped yammering and I was enjoying the quiet. As we approached a stop sign on Main St. I noted that we were the fourth car back. And that we had a cop in front of us. Suddenly, dude throws on his lights and barrels around the two stopped cars and through the intersection.
“Damn,” I said to my daughter. “Somebody must have really messed up.” At the same moment I saw the car screech into a parking spot directly in front of Nick’s Deli. The only parking spot within a half block of Nick’s, I might add. Then they casually walked in to the deli, presumably to pick up breakfast burritos. Is the siren used for dinner only or do they have to be traveling further than 500 feet before they use it?
I would say I’m surprised the cops did it, but I grew up in Seal Beach and frankly it would take a lot to surprise me with the Seal Beach Police. This is the same force that in the spring of 1984 sent a police dog after three of my friends who were toilet papering my house.
They were hiding in the bushes three houses down and the officer knew where they were, but this lunatic had just gotten the dog and wanted to try him out. After they arrested my friends and took them to the police station (seriously) the cop pulled my friend’s car in front of a fire hydrant and gave him a ticket. Nice, huh? If I remember the story right, that officer was later dismissed from the force for something crappy. What a shock.
Once we got to Shawn’s (Steve’s son), we unloaded the bikes and headed down Ocean towards First. We passed beach front house after beach front house and as I glanced at the ocean and blue sky between the houses, I vowed that I would try to get out and do this a couple times a week. I also vowed that I would do it when DQ was in school so that I could keep my sanity.
Why do I bring up my sanity? My daughter isn’t “uncoordinated” but it’s safe to say she could use a little more. She’s never had much desire to ride a bike until this past summer when we moved back to California and she’s not overly steady on it.
My brother got her a cruiser for her birthday in August and she loves it. She and I have been out together a few times, but she has this tendency to not ride straight and it scares the crap out of me. Just before we ended the ride this morning I pulled to the side because I’d gotten slightly ahead of my daughter. I turned to look just in time to see my angel (only riding about 2 MPH) ride straight into the back of a parked Infiniti. Not the corner of the car but dead center of the back end.
In her defense, it was black and one could make the argument it was hard to see. Who am I kidding? There’s no defense for hitting a parked car when you have a whole street to ride on. I apologize for even trying to spin that in a positive manner.
After an hour of cruising through the streets of downtown Seal Beach we stopped for a donut and coffee (OJ for her, though she did ask for coffee) before biking to the pier to take a couple of pictures. For some reason I don’t have a lot of pictures of the two of us together and I have none of the slimmed down me (45 pounds in three months) and my daughter.
There’s a grassy area next to the pier and we stopped there to take a couple shots, including the one at the top of the post. Drama Queen got off her bike and I turned towards the beach to look for a good spot to stand. Suddenly I heard a smack and quickly spun around. Seeing my daughter with her hands cupped closed, I ask what happened.
“I caught a butterfly,” she proudly said. “No,” I thought. “You killed a butterfly.” As you can see from the picture, the butterfly was unharmed and stayed in her open hand for almost 30 seconds.
I totally needed this bike ride and I’m going to make it a priority to get out on a regular basis. I think I’ll hit Bolsa Chica or the Huntington Cliffs this weekend so I can ride with a prime view of the ocean and chill while I exercise. I think I’ll even put together a Beach Cruisin playlist for my iPhone. That way I can stick in my earbuds and listen to some tuneage as I ride.
I’m thinking Sublime, Katrina and the Waves, Blink 182, Oingo Boingo, The Smiths, Harvey Danger, Red Hot Chili Peppers and anything else that was played on KROQ since 1980. Any suggestions?